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Home / Bats in Nottinghamshire

Of the 17 species of bat breeding in the UK, 12 are present in Nottinghamshire.

Myotis bats

The Myotis or mouse-eared bats number at least 110 species28 worldwide, with 14 of those in Europe. There are seven resident species in the UK, with four of these known to be present in Nottinghamshire. The echolocation calls of the Myotis bats are very difficult, arguably impossible, to tell apart and they are therefore best identified to species level in the hand or by testing the DNA in their droppings.

Daubenton’s bat
Whiskered bat
Brandt’s bat
Natterer’s bat

Nyctalus bats

Unlike the Myotis species, the Nyctalus bats are much less numerous with only eight species worldwide, three in Europe, of which two are found in the UK. This genus of bats is found across Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia.

Noctule
Leisler’s bat

A noctule (left) and Leisler’s (right) side by side from a bat box survey at Clumber Park

Pipistrellus bats

Our commonest bats in the UK are from the Pipistrellus genus. With about 40 species worldwide49 and five species in Europe, there are three species currently resident in the UK, all of which are found in Nottinghamshire. One of these, the Nathusius’ pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii) is a recent addition to our species list and it is possible that other pipistrelle species will emigrate from continental Europe as our climate warms, with a few records already noted in southern England of the vagrant Kuhl’s pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii).

The three Pipistrellus species resident in the UK could be easily mistaken for one another. It is usually possible to tell these three bats apart through their echolocation calls heard on a bat detector. The peak frequency of a common pipistrelle is around 45 kHz, the soprano pipistrelle is around 55 kHz, and Nathusius’ pipistrelle is around 39 kHz, although there can be some overlap. When in the hand, the three species are more readily distinguished via a combination of several diagnostic features.

Common pipistrelle
Soprano pipistrelle
Nathusius’ pipistrelle

The three Pipistrellus species. From left; Nathusius’ pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, common pipistrelle

Eptesicus bats

Of the approximately 30 species of Eptesicus bats only four live in Europe and only one in the UK. Bats in this genus are commonly referred to as the ‘house bats’, and are found across Europe, Russia, China, Africa, South East Asia and the Americas.

Serotine

Barbastella bats

Only one of the six species of the Barbastella genus is found in Europe; the Western barbastelle, which is commonly referred to in Europe simply as barbastelle.

Barbastelle

Plecotus bats

There are two species of Plecotus bats in the UK, the brown long-eared bat, which is widespread including in Nottinghamshire, and the grey long-eared bat Plecotus austriacus which is incredibly rare and has a restricted range in southern England and South Wales. There are a further four species of Plecotus in Europe and a total of 16 species worldwide.

Brown long-eared bat

Species account details

Each species has its own page on this website where we give some details about their ecology and distribution in Nottinghamshire. We have included some key measurements for each species which are taken from two highly recommended books. Forearm measurements and weights are from the Bats of Britain and Europe by Dietz and Kiefer (2016), head and body measurement and wingspan are from Britain’s Mammals by Couzens, Swash, Still and Dunn (2017).

Forearm – this is a key measurement when trying to identify bats and is taken from a bat with a fully closed wing and measures the distance between elbow and wrist (see the picture of the Daubenton’s bat on page 33 as this shows clearly the full extent of what is measured).

Weight – this can vary at different times of day and year. The figures give are for non-reproducing animals in summer.

Head and body – the measurement from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.

Wingspan – this is not a measurement taken during bat surveys but it does give a good comparison between different species. For readers more familiar with bird identification books it should give a better indication of general size.